Have any of you ever had one of those ideas that just… won’t go away? An image that just keeps popping up in your head, a song that just keeps playing, a phrase you hear over and over but can’t place? This story I want to share with you is one of those. It was born from a conversation I had with my wife while we were shopping. Well, conversation is being generous. It was more of me acting a fool and her threatening to walk away and leave me in the store. This left me with the image of myself dramatically cursing the gods for my abandonment. That image of me on my knees, fists raised, crying out just would not leave. It bounced around that hollow noggin of mine and formed a story. What ordinary thing would cause such a dramatic reaction? Well read on!
I frantically raced through traffic, replaying my wife’s message again and again in my head. Our daughter… Oh God, my baby! Please, if there’s any deity out there, don’t let it be now… In my panic I start to drift into the next lane. I snap to just in time to avoid colliding with the semi to my right. I’m so panicked I just hunch down sheepishly when the driver blares his horn at me and gives me that one finger salute.
Today was supposed to be a normal day. I’m not prepared for this! Sooner than I realize, but all too soon, I pull up to my driveway. A sense of dread fills my chest, the pressure crushing down on me, making it difficult to breath. The sun is shining high and bright in the sky. The birds are singing. Aren’t things like this supposed to happen in the dark of night? Or during a horrible storm? Terrifying, life altering events should never happen on such a beautiful day.
I sit in my driveway, gasping for air, drowning in panic. I notice…. the front door is slightly ajar. Oh God, she didn’t even close the door. I exit my car, slowly, nervously making my way into the house. “Babe!? Babe are you here?” I call out into the ominously quiet house. I make my way through the house room by room. In the hallway leading to the bathroom I see it. There’s a pile of clothing, the pants stained with blood….
No no NO!! Why did this have to happen? There was still so much time! I try to call out to my wife again, but my voice dies in my throat. I want to weep. I want to yell and scream. I want to lash out and pull my hair and WHY!?!?!?
As I stand there, sorrow and grief warring in my mind, the bathroom door begins to creak open. My heart begins to race. My mouth dries out. My fight or flight begins to kick in. The door stops opening once it’s just wide enough to allow my wife to exit into the hallway. By the look on her face all hope I had of her being mistaken is dashed upon the rocks of heartbreak.
“It’s about time you got here! I called an hour ago!” She says to me. I can’t speak. How could she be so …. callous to me? “Here,” she says, thrusting her hand out to me, “take this and head over to Walgreens.” Shocked, I look down at my hands. There’s a list and a twenty dollar bill.
“What… what am I…?” I manage to croak out.
“Oh for heaven’s sake!” she replies, exasperated, “It’s not the end of the world. Just make sure to get the unscented ones. And don’t forget the Midol!” With that she spins around, reenters the bathroom and practically slams the door in my face.
That was twenty minutes ago. I’m sitting out in the parking lot of the Walgreens, trying to determine how this could happen. How it could all get away from me so fast. Just yesterday I helped her with her first steps… I’m not ready to buy my baby girl maxi pads….
Something even more dreadful nagged at me. It wasn’t until I made my way into the store that it sprang to mind. They.. They’d end up syncing! “Noooooo!” The automatic door slid closed behind me, oblivious to my doom.
Well folks, hope you enjoyed that little tale of terror more than the women in my life did! Until next time.